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Dandelion B. Treecraft died August 4, 2011
Born: April 30, 1949, Fresno, California,
Dam: Nina Isabel Guard, a shy, rural North Carolina girl, graduated from the University of North Carolina at age 18.
Sire: Vernon Willard Whipple, a dangerous-charming Fresno boy who managed to graduate from Fresno High School.
Christened "Daniel Bryan Whipple" at his birth, in Fresno, California, Dan endured 13 mind-numbing years of public schooling in California, Washington, and Florida before enlisting in the US Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. Thereafter, he worked as a carpenter, and a wood tank "cooper" in Fresno. After divorcing Leta, his wife of six years , Dan moved to Spokane in June, 1980, and took up, promptly, with a former babysitter from his grade-school years. This was two weeks after Mt. Saint Helens' historic off-topping.
A short stint with the Spokane City garbage collection squad was followed by a similarly-short hitch, 'cold-canvassing' for one of Spokane's leading predatory roofing and siding contractors. That invaluable vocational experience was followed by six years employment at an industrial transformer manufacturing plant - which failed to lead to tenure, as the company moved its facility to North Carolina to take advantage of a lower-wage environment. In late 1980, Mr. Treecraft joined the Spokane Unitarian Church, whose very active singles group had a surplus of women 10 to 20 years his senior. This was truly a golden era for Dan. He eventually graduated from the Unitarian Church in 1997, with a degree of Critical Thinking. A doldrum period of employment coincided in the late --80s, and included a brief attempt to enter the medical industry as a nurse-aide. This proved, after all, not to be a good fit, as Dan felt compelled to take half of his charges home to provide more adequate personal nurturance, while the remainder, he felt, should be taken out over-night, and shot.
From 1991 until 2009, having found his calling, Dan employed himself as an arborist, changed his legal name, and attempted to make an honest living providing ethical tree care. Anyone who's attempted to make a living - ethically - can attest that it is no small feat. Mr. Treecraft's scorecard, here, looks fairly good - if graded on a --curve'. He was pleased, though, that many of his clients also became enduring friends.
In 1991, while pruning an ancient apple tree for a frugal-but-charming South Hill matron, Dan met his second-wife-to-be. Nearly eight years passed, before she managed to come to Dan's attention again. Jan and Dan were married on the Autumnal Equinox, 2001, a pot luck affair which drew a crowd of well under one thousand.
The next nine years passed in what appeared to be sublime, flawless bliss. Both Treecrafts were generally satisfied to let that appearance prevail. It was a period of considerable inner growth, especially for Jan. For Dan, it was a time of great inner testing. The result was, after all, a passably agreeable relationship for a near-decade. No small feat in this day.
In the Fall of 2008, Dan noticed a mild, chronic sore throat, and some difficulty swallowing. The symptoms persisted, eventually joined by others, until Dan finally agreed to see a doctor in February, 2010. Examination and biopsy revealed a tumor of some advanced development. A course of "no treatment" was decided upon and followed, until such time as the discomfort and dysfunction of his illness directed Dan to thoughtfully and humanely end his tenure. Jan stood by him throughout the eleven-month duration of his winding-down process, walking all the way - to the very edge - with him.
Some fuss has been made of Treecraft's social and political activism. This aspect of his life has been significantly exaggerated, though it's true he took pride in his pivotal role - forcing Alberto Gonzales to resign as head of the United States Justice Department's team of international war criminals. Dan was also exceedingly proud of being ousted from several dozen Spokane City Council meetings, by Council President Joe Shogan.
Besides his wife, Jan, Mr. Treecraft is survived by their dog, Skippy, Cuckoo, the cat, Jan's adult son, Max, Jan's daughter, Molly, and Molly's 4-year-old son, Ezra. Dan also leaves a half-brother, Bill Whipple, seven step-siblings < too numerous and far-flung to name - Bobby, Jackie, Eddy, Sally, Nancy, Tommy and Susan >, and an unknown number of nieces and nephews. Dan had no children of his own < if he did, not one of them ever called or wrote >.
Burial will be at Worley Township Cemetery 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 6, 2011. A caravan of grave-digging friends and well-wishers are expected to provide funereal talent, shovels, sweat, cheer, graveside manners. Eulogizers of quick-witted brevity are welcome to speak. Long-winded droners may be stoned and used as backfill. Bring a picnic lunch to share, and something to sit on. Please consider carpooling. It is hoped this event might inspire and bring together a few good people from across the county.
Those wanting to make memorial gifts are asked to give generously to the Spokane Center For Justice.
Published in Spokesman-Review from August 5 to August 6, 2011 Follow this Obituary
Here's a transcript of Sarah Palin's speech in Alaska in the afternoon, prior to her Beck thing, just to give yet another opportunity to appreciate the word salad that comes out when she's just being Sarah. 2012? Doubt it.
Well, I'm sorry I'm late. We had a bunch of kid activities today, and the kids come first, OK, so... we're taking care of that, but first let me ask you - Do you looove your freedom? We do love our freedom so what we do is we think of vets and we have some vets right here and we have vets all over this crowd. Raise your hand if you've served in the past or are presently serving in the United States military. We love you and we salute you! God bless you guys. Thank you guys so much! You're why we are here - why we are free - why we have these protections in our Constitution that only you can secure so we thank our vets. It's just really really good to be home. Tonight I think I'll see some of you at a Glenn Beck event that we have in Anchorage. Woohoo!
I know. What would we do without Fox News? I don't know.
We've had a busy time getting to travel around the United States and share the message of really the reform in this country that we need. The reform it's not a fundamental transformation of America that some would want to instill upon us but it is a restoration of America and the values that we hold so dear. That's been our message. And I tell ya where that springs from though, is the roots here in Alaska. I tell my parents all the time there is no better gift that they could have given me than besides such an appreciation for family and for faith and patriotism, it's been an upbringing in America in this most perfect state in America - Alaska, where we are independent and we have the pioneering spirit that more of America should hopefully get to look into the state and understand and really try to emulate because it's that pioneering spirit that America needs more of.
It's a spirit that really wants to value work ethic and value family and value country and not ask much of government. We just want government on our side. We don't want it against us, we just want it on our side so it's not a lot to ask. But that... that value, that belief, it comes from being an Alaskan. There is no place that I would rather be than with you on a day like this - patriots in Alaska. Patriots here who have taken time out of their day to say that we will never forget 9/11, nine years ago - we will never forget and we all commit to never letting it happen again. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for not just welcoming me in my home town but for being who you are, true patriots holding on to time tested truths. Knowing that... knowing some basic principles that again, the rest of America can learn from so many Alaskans who believe this - those time tested truths that are based on the government that governs least, governs best. And the knowledge that it's our Constitution that provides the best path - the best blueprint for a more perfect union and the knowledge that our men and women in uniform are a source for good throughout this world and that's nothing to apologize for. So you Alaskans who are so proud to be American, I'm with you. I love you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you guys!
I hope that when I watch the news tonight I don't hear he died. Maybe it wouldn't even make the news in a city this size. But a little group of people and a whole bunch of government money just might have saved the life of the young man who OD'd across the street from my place tonight.
Our neighborhood is very mixed, from fairly upscale townhouses to older houses to apartment buildings. This evening I happened to look out the window toward an apartment I know is rented by a very young, rather Goth looking bunch of kids in their very early twenties. They hang out and smoke on the street, they clearly have little money, and though the mom in me worries a little about them, I like watching their interactions and imagining what it must be like to be a kid trying to get along in the city.
But tonight none of them was there. Instead I saw a kid who could have been 16, 18, 20, in the terrible staggering stance of someone who has OD'd to the point of nearly having a seizure. He was nodding out on his feet, mouth foaming, not three feet from a very busy street. I thought for just a minute, then called 911.
At about the same time a young couple, not much older than he but way in another realm in terms of lifestyle, jogged by. From the window I watched them find his phone and try to make several calls. After a few minutes I joined them, and the young woman also called 911. We tried to wake him, but he fell over the stoop and lay there while we tried to just be sure he was breathing.
In a fairly short time the first aid car showed up, and they set to work on him. They were great--professional, concerned, gave us the choice to hang out out of the way or not (at which time we all retired to let them work). As I watched from my window again, feeling oddly guilty I must admit about my glass of wine, police cars showed up to direct traffic, and to talk to and, it appeared from the hand on her shoulder, comfort the hysterical young woman who came from one of the apartments. Eventually I saw him loaded into the back of one of the cars with--thank goodness--the sheet NOT over his face.
This was, to me, a combination of the best of this country; the will and the system in place to help a very troubled kid at a time when he could have died from disinterest, lack of empathy, the judgmental attitude that he is somehow less, or lack of a system for calling for help, the trained professionals to answer, and an ER that won't turn him away. I don't often have much cause to imagine what it must be like to live somewhere where you can't call for help, or where there IS no help, even when you're young and you screw up and there are questions. They'll come later. Right now we all, every one of us, from the politicians long ago who put the system in place to the medics to the cops to the kids to me...to the father that the fellow who found the kid's phone called to tell him his son was lying on the sidewalk somewhere, want him to just live.
I don't know his name; I don't know what he took. I don't know who the young couple were, who the hysterical girl was, or the medics, or the cops, or the thousands upon thousands of people put this system together and continue to pay taxes to support it. But tonight I know why we are America, and I appreciate us all very, very much.
I don't post here much any more. Though there are many fine people here I was losing my inner peace and being much less effective at doing something about what troubles me in this world because I was too caught up in the argument to take up the fight, if you know what I mean.
But I just spent two weeks in New Orleans and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I thought maybe someone would like to know what it's like five years after Katrina and a lot of neglect almost destroyed the life I grew up with.
I have to tell you, in spite of what many people, and many here, think of the area, I saw some of the hardest work and craziest, most noble faith in their own resources and unity of purpose I've ever seen. Even now. Yeah, there's anger and infighting and corruption, but there's also pride and identity and a tenacious determination that they will not give up, that they are, in spite of being treated otherwise, both economically and culturally priceless. The two places are alike in some ways and not in others--the coast is fiercely independent, proud and provincial, conservative and fond of its leisure time, which revolves a great deal around family and fishing and drinking beer and swapping stories. New Orleans is sacred and profane, a city of enormous passions, be they rage or delight, and those feelings exist side by side. Laissez les Bon Temps Roullez isn't just for Mardi Gras or tourists, it's a way to tolerate an enormous amount of suffering, not just from events but because they know that life IS suffereing, and if you don't fuss and fight and forgive and get just plain ridiculous about once a day then you are letting the bastards win. Forbes Magazine's judgment that Louisiana was the laziest state was met with a lot of laughter and a lot of "Where's the next crawfish boil?"
I know there is much argument about the poor who don't work, how hard it is for the really impoverished to come home, the crime rate and the racism and so forth, but that's not what I'm writing about. It's a terrible problem that is in a glaring light, as it should be. I'm writing to say I'm impressed with the spirit and with how incredibly much has been done in five years. In spite of what the news foregrounds, there is a Herculean effort being made by people both ordinary and not so ordinary. For the first time since the storm and the breech, I think the Coast and New Orleans might just survive in recognizable form. There's optimism, there's pride in getting back this far by doing the exact kind of bootstraps effort that so many people are convinced isn't within their capability. People are rebuilding board by board, working for years on a simple dwelling. Damned if Brad Pitt's houses aren't pretty cool, as is the Musician's Village, the new hospitals, and some pretty good attempts at building affordable housing, all spearheading a movement to keep the old spirit but incorporate the new. You can't find much criticism of Pitt; he's one of us now, because he's had more fight than argument in him, fighting, not the "enemy" but the disaster itself. Refusing to let hate sap the energy of a great place and a great need and just working and working until it gets better, seems to be everywhere.
So yes, this is a love letter. But I can't tell you how relieved I am that New Orleans and the coast are places that have changed, but that I still recognize. Back home now in the Northwest, I miss them already, because, frankly, that kind of determination is inspiring and meaningful in a time where so many seem to just be angry and finding no way to make meaningful moves toward making things better. It IS better. And, in spite of the worries about oil, I'm happy to report that the food shamelessly kicked my ass.
Happy Anniversary, not to the devastation, but to the survival, and to the ability to still eat and play and be "lazy."
October 5, 2009
Beck is 'out and out nuts,' Carville says
Posted: October 5th, 2009 09:30 AM ET
From CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
Democrat James Carville said Sunday that conservative commentator Glenn Beck is 'out and out nuts' while Carville's wife, a Republican, had kinder words about the Fox News anchor.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Fox News anchor and conservative commentator Glenn Beck was taking incoming fire Sunday from both ends of the political spectrum, but especially from Democratic strategist James Carville.
"I think he's nuts, OK?," the outspoken Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union,"
"Just out-and-out nuts. And I also think that he's a blatant hypocrite," Carville said. "Here's somebody that sits on his show … weeping about how much he loves America and … and then he's absolutely giddy when his country doesn't get the Olympics. And this is — I'll tell you another thing about Glenn Beck. He wouldn't know the difference between a football, a bat and a hockey court. This guy is not — he's just all — he's just all weeping."
Carville was reacting to earlier comments Sunday on Fox News, where Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made it clear that he was not a fan of Beck.
"So he has a right to say what he wants to say. In my view, it's not — it's not the kind of political analysis that I buy into," Graham said.
Republican strategist Mary Matalin disagreed with Graham and with Carville, who is her husband.
This cracked me up. I happen to like Carville, who knows about being a showman and I imagine would enjoy a scrap with Beck.
Apparently KC is going to have GB as her first interviewee on CBS.com's new online interview series. Here's hoping she continues to develop as an interviewer (wasn't impressed at first but she's gotten brave) and challenges him. I really do want to get an idea how he's put together, and she did that nicely with Sarah Palin.
The host even commented on how relevent "Lonesome Rhodes" is in today's world. Listen up, Glenn.
The Young Democrats of Skagit County have an online petition to stop Glenn Beck from receiving the key to Mt. Vernon. DU could help this cause out a lot. Once you vote it asks you how you want to create an account but as far as I can tell your vote counts even if you just close that window. Go to:
Edit: They'll ask for an email address and you'll get a request to confirm your vote. If you choose not to it'll still count, but as "unverified."
The cnn report says he's okay and should be back at work in a few days (I have no idea how to post things except for urls).
I am an unabashed fan, loving, as I do, radio, storytelling, poetry and politics. I last saw him at a John Kerry fundraiser, where we met and he wished me luck in my writing, and where, when (for crazy scheduling reasons) Kerry didn't show, he kept a disappointed audience excited and enthusiastic. He's read the poems of friends of mine on The Writers' Almanac and I aspire to have him read mine someday.
Beam good vibes.
I should never have found out that Glenn Beck exists. I think my soul will come out intact, but the crazy has got me laughing way too much when perhaps I should be running and screaming instead.
Sep 2 2009, 10:29 am by Chris Good
The Levi Johnston Story, Unabridged Edition
In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Levi Johnston tells his story--not of his relationship with Bristol, or her campaign for abstinence, or of life, in general, as a traveling spectator of the McCain/Palin campaign--but of Sarah Palin herself, what she's like at home, what she does, says, and how she treats people. And it is not pretty. Not by a long shot.
It's a five-page first-person account, told by Johnston, of the way Palin is. Johnston certainly has an axe to grind: since the end of the campaign, it's become clear that Johnston does not like Sarah Palin very much. He has complained about not being able to see his baby, and he's alleged that Palin knew he and Bristol were having sex before Bristol got pregnant.
In short, he feels burned by Sarah Palin and the media circus he walked into, by virtue of being her then-future-son-in-law when she was named as John McCain's vice presidential candidate.
Johnston also has aspirations of a modeling career, and the Vanity Fair spread will include a couple model-esque shots of him to accompany the piece. So he gets that out of it, too.
With that caveat of motive and reliability done out of the way...Vanity Fair forwarded some highlights and excerpts this morning, and here are highlights of those highlights:
According to Johnston, Palin often complained of her job as governor, saying it was "too hard." Johnston portrays Palin as a bossy layabout who would sometimes come home from work at noon, take an hour-long bath, and lay about the house making Levi, Bristol, and whoever else get things for her.
The Palins didn¹t have dinner together and they didn't talk much as a family. Throughout the years I spent with them, when Sarah got home from her office--almost never later than five and sometimes as early as noon--she usually walked in the door, said hello, and then disappeared into her bedroom, where she would hang out. Sometimes she'd take an hour-long bath. Other times she sat on the living-room couch...watching house shows and wedding shows on TV. She always wanted things and she wanted other people to get them for her. If she wanted a movie, Bristol and I would go to the video store; if she wanted food, we¹d get her something to eat, like a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell. She'd try to bribe everyone to clean the house, or give us guilt trips. She used to make Bristol feel bad by telling her that she did everything for her. This was unfair because, even before the campaign, Bristol was already the mom in the house, and she got tired of having to take care of her siblings.
He also writes:
Sarah doesn't cook, Todd doesn't cook--the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol would help her youngest sister with her homework, and I'd barbecue chicken or steak on the grill.
If you think the Crunchwrap Supreme is indeed the supreme insult of Johnston's story, you may be right...but he also says Sarah is not much of a reader: he "actually never say Sarah reading much at all...once in a blue moon, I'd see her reading a book, and I've never even seen her read a newspaper in her life." Johnston says he only saw Palin read a book to her eight-year-old daughter once.
And Palin quit her governorship for the money and because she was stressed, Johnston writes--a book or a TV show would be easier more profitable. After the 2008 election ended...
Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make "triple the money." It was, to her, "not as hard." She would blatantly say, "I want to just take this money and quit being governor." She started to say it frequently, but she didn't know how to do it. When she came home from work, it seemed like she was more and more stressed out. It seemed like she couldn't handle the job anymore. I think that she was just through with it all or that she'd become used to getting everything she wanted handed to her. She'd rather take the money and keep that kind of lifestyle. When a magazine offered six figures to be at the hospital when Bristol gave birth, she said yes at first but then told us not to do it.
But that's still not the coup de grace. According to Johnston, Palin initially accepted a magazine's six-figure offer to be present at the hospital when Bristol gave birth, but then told Levi and Bristol not to do it.
More controversy over the baby: Sarah Palin, Johnston says, pressed Bristol and him at first to let her adopt their son once Bristol gave birth to him, in the hopes of hiding the pregnancy:
She would say, "So, are you gonna let me adopt him?" We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good, and she didn't want people to know that her 17-year-old daughter was going to have a kid.
Also, she didn't attend her son's hockey games very often. And she and Todd constantly fought, didn't communicate well, and sometimes talked of divorce. They slept in separate rooms, even at the Republican National Convention, Levi claims.
Aside from its unverifiable qualities, Johnston's story is juicy, to say the least.
For those DUers who love the often prophetic voice of the citizen poets, I post this, written seventy years ago today. It is an astonishingly relevant cry for a true democratic voice against a terrible darkness.
September 1, 1939
by W. H. Auden
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
I was deeply moved by Teddy Kennedy's memorial last night and the funeral today. But let us not let it totally overshadow something that is the epitome of what Kennedy stood for in life and still stands for in death, the unbelievable needs of the people whose lives were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina four years ago. I'd call for no criticism of anyone right now, for criticism can feel like a substitute for action, and now, four years later, we still need to act to help the poor, the young, the old, the simply discouraged who continue to suffer and want to live good lives again. We can't give them back what they had, but we can help them to acquire something new--a sense that they matter, that we as a country envelope them with love, respect and compassion, even those whose actions in the wake of the storm befuddle and frighten and anger us. They are my people by birth, but they are our people, all, by virtue of being what we call ourselves with pride--Americans.
Remember, and do something today, tomorrow, whenever you can.
Keith Olbermann is brilliant in consistently calling Beck "Lonesome Rhodes" from the amazing 1957 film A Face in the Crowd. Here's a short clip. Rhodes' manipulation of an ignorant populace and subsequent meltdown are being re-enacted with astonishing effect.
Let's hope Beck loses more than just the ability to spell. He's dangerous.
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